Maps of the shore of Lake Michigan from the early 1800s, minutes of the Save
the Dunes Council from 1952-1966, Arthur Anderson photographs and original
South Shore posters are just a few of the things visitors can see at the
Calumet Regional Archives located at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.
Stephen G. McShane, archivist/curator, talked about his work at the Duneland
Historical Society meeting on February 17 at the Library Service Center. He
invites individuals to visit the Archives, located on the third floor of the
IUN Library at 35th and Broadway in Gary, but suggests they call ahead to
He gave a slide show tour which began with a picture of office furniture
which had been used by former Congressman Ray Madden. In addition to slides
showing maps, minutes of meetings and photographs, he showed pictures of old
official record books, correspondence, programs including early
DunesPageants, flyers, promotional pamphlets such as “Gary Welcomes You!”,
newsletters from Gary Works, and community newsletters.
The Archives also have negatives from the Post Tribune starting in 1953 and
Congressman Adam Benjamin’s papers. A recent acquisition is a collection
from Inland Steel.
In describing his work of organizing and preserving the collections, he had
advice for anyone preserving historical items. He does not recommend
laminating items. He showed a slide of an old map of Ogden Dunes which has
been encapsulated and can be retrieved. He also says no to all kinds of
fasteners: paper clips, rubber bands, string, staples, etc.
The Archives collections are stored in boxes on shelves in a consistent
temperature of 68 degrees with humidity control. McShane is co-author with
Ronald D. Cohen of “Moonlight in Duneland, The Illustrated Story of the
Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad” which is now in paperback.
The Duneland Historical Society will meet on March 17 at 7:30 at the Library
Service Center. The program will be presented by Mayor Leigh Morris of
LaPorte who will tell of “The History of the Rumely Company.” The company
developed the oil pull tractor, a farm machine that had a significant
impacton the farming industry at the turn of the last century.